Nestle SA, the Swiss food giant, plans to sell its U.S.-based hotel unit, Stouffer Hotel Holdings Inc., to a company owned by the family of Hong Kong property developer Cheng Yu-Tung. The price was not disclosed.
Nestle's U.S. operations are mainly based in Glendale, although Stouffer Hotel is based in Solon, Ohio. The unit owns or operates 40 hotels and resorts in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The hotel group was acquired by Nestle in 1973 when it bought Stouffer Corp., a maker of frozen foods. Nestle said it is shedding the hotels because it wants to focus on its food business.
Cheng Yu-Tung is chairman of New World Development Co. Ltd., one of Hong Kong's biggest property developers. His holdings include Hong Kong's Regent and Hyatt hotels and 46 Renaissance hotels.
Separately, Nestle confirmed that it is evaluating plans to have its stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange. "We're fairly well advanced in our considerations," said Francois-Xavier Perroud, a spokesman at Nestle's headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland.
The Big Board listing, among other things, would bolster any future Nestle effort to raise capital from U. S. investors. Another European company, Germany's Daimler-Benz AG, which manufactures Mercedes-Benz automobiles, has also disclosed plans to have its shares listed on the NYSE.